On the second day of the workshops I gave in Brisbane recently the focus was on construction. A variety of techniques were practised depending on the type of material the individual attendee wanted to use. In the morning each person created a sculptural form which then became the basis of an ikebana work in the afternoon session. I must say I am always quietly amused when ikebanists get out their power tools to start their flower arranging!

The next two photos show finished works after the critiquing process. In the first photo gymea leaves only, were used in loose and open loops to keep a light feeling to the work and not to distract from the texture of the woody branches. 

In the next example flowers were added. However, the shallow vase was rotated so that the wooden sculpture was clearly the subject of the work rather than the flowers. 

The next few photographs show the development of the sculptural work in the morning session and then its final use in the afternoon session. The fine bamboo shown below was fixed with dowels made from fine skewers.

The bamboo sculpture was brought to the front of the design and the arrangement simplified in the final version of the work.

Below partially charred lengths of melaluca (paperbark trees) were secured to nails driven through a red painted board. 

As you can see below, this work reminds the viewer of the aftermath of a bushfire. A single stem of curly poinsettia flowers has been added.

The bamboo below had sufficiently thick walls that doweling has been used to invisibly secure short pieces.

The result is an abstract sculptural form to which some lotus pods were added for colour and textural variation.

Three lengths of branch were secured with dowels in the example below. 

Unfortunately the photos do not show the beautiful texture of the wood which was the principal point of interest. A single New Zealand flax leaf was added to the side of the work which provides a strong contrast that does not interfere with the woody material floating above the cylindrical vase.

In the example below magnolia branches have been doweled and wired together together to create a spherical mass. This was a deliberate choice to avoid simply relying on the natural beauty of the lines of the material. 

In the final work a strong line has been added to one side and a white camellia budflower and some leaves to create textural and colour contrast. 

This week's posting is a continuation of last week's that you can view by scrolling down further. It may be necessary to click on the 'archive' for June. I would like to thank the participating members of the Queensland Branch of the Sogetsu Teacher's Association (click blue text to view their website) for letting me share their workshop experience with you.

Greetings from Christopher
5th July 2014

P.S. You can see Emily Karanikolopoulos' final blog posting of her three months at Sogetsu Headquarters by clicking on the blue text: Emily in Tokyo.

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